If the Appearance of Age theory is to be rejected, what alternative ideas work?
You really ought to pick up a copy of my book "Is There a God?" (www.ipibooks.com). It will give very detailed answers to all your questions.
In this book, I discuss the day/age theory. In other words, each "day" in Genesis chapter one represents a successive period of time over which God created the world we can observe today. In this view, the days are real, but they are not literal.
I do not have any idea where you got the idea that I ever believed there may still be dinosaurs in Africa dwelling in uncharted territores. There is no way at all that this could be possible, and I certainly never said it is possible. There are no remaining uncharted territories. And even if there were, there certainly would not be any dinosaurs in them. The dinosaurs completely disappeared from the earth about 65 million years ago.
I am a big fan of Jules Verne and read Journey to the Center of the Earth as a teen, but the whole idea of this book and movie is obviously not to be taken seriously. The earth is not hollow and there are not dinosaurs in there!
Yes, there are questions you will never be able to answer. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as believing things we cannot see. Christianity has many proofs, but there will always be things we must accept by faith. God wants it to be that way, because salvation is by faith, not by sight. You cannot prove that heaven exists. We cannot know exactly what heaven is like. There is an unlimited number of questions we can ask but cannot answer. Despite this, I believe that God had provided answers for the important questions, and I want to encourage you for your desire to find answers to the difficult questions. You are a good example of applying 1 Peter 3:15-16.
I suggest my books Reasons for Belief and Is There a God, as well as Daniel, Prophet to the Nations (all available at www.ipibooks.com). Also, the web site www.douglasjacoby.com is very good. Doug has a lot of apologetics materials. He also has a very useful CD series on Apologetics. His books and DVDs are all available at www.ipibooks.com Also, there is a suggested reading list at my web site.